Strangled over towing fee: Arrest in College Park murder

A 24-year-old D.C. man strangled an employee at a College Park, Maryland, tow company over a towing fee, Prince George’s County police say.

When police were called to the company in the 5000 block of College Avenue, off Campus Drive and near the College Park Metro station, around 1:50 a.m. Sunday, 41-year-old employee Tarreak Butler was in a choke hold.

Officers ordered Damian Howard, of Northwest D.C., to release Butler, who was unconscious. Three officers performed CPR, but Butler died an hour later at a hospital.

An autopsy determined Butler died of asphyxia strangulation and ruled his death a homicide. Police said the preliminary investigation shows Howard attacked Butler over a towing fee.

Howard is charged with second-degree murder, manslaughter and assault. He is being held without bond.

Police are asking anyone with more information to call detectives at 301-772-4925. Callers wishing to remain anonymous can call Crime Solvers at 1-866-411-8477, or go online at, or use the P3 Tips mobile app, available in the Apple Store or Google Play.

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